Victim Advocate

What is an Advocate?

A Victim’s Advocate is a professional staff member who provides nonjudgmental, private support to student survivors of gender-based violence. Their role is to provide trauma-informed services to students who live on- or off-campus. Through work with the Project Coordinator and Title IX Coordinator, the Victim’s Advocate will help identify barriers that victims from under-served communities face in obtaining assistance and in establishing coordinated sensitive assistance.

Victim Advocacy services are free, and designed to help each individual pursue the course of action they feel is best for them.

What does an Advocate do?

Our Victim’s Advocate is available to provide empathetic support and resources to students who have been exposed to gender-based violence. Support can include:

  • Referrals to individual counseling, support groups and other supportive services on campus and in the community
  • Education about medical options and procedures, including evidence collection
  • Information and/or referrals to legal advocacy, including Personal Protection Orders
  • Support and assistance in reporting an assault to Campus Police, if student chooses
  • Support and assistance in navigating K’s conduct system, if student chooses
  • Support and assistance in participating in a Title IX investigation
  • Support and assistance in academic, housing, employment, or other accommodations
  • Assistance for significant others and friends of victim/survivors of gender-based violence

When do I call the Advocate?

Know that you have options, and you are not alone. Services through the campus advocate are available are provided below. To set up a time to speak with an advocate call the 269.303.3655 or email, mkruizenga@ywcakalamazoo.org. Please note: Email is not a secure form of communication, therefore confidentiality cannot be assured. If the Victim Advocate is not available and you need to speak to someone right away, please call YWCA private 24-hour Helpline at 269.385.3587, Campus Safety at 269.337.7321 or for an emergency dial 911.

Advocates provide private support. This means that talking with an advocate DOES NOT start a formal conduct or criminal process unless you want to access those options.

Due to the transition to online classes, victim advocacy services have changed hours. Below are the adjusted hours. There is some flexibility. Please contact Mallory Kruizenga, mkruizenga@ywcakalamazoo.org, to schedule appointments.

Hours: Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Support Groups

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Support groups are temporarily unavailable. The site will be updated once the group is available again.

Survivors of Gender-based Violence Support Group The group will be held on Thursdays at 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Counseling Center located in Hicks Center. The group will offer a nonjudgmental, trauma-informed, safe environment with other survivors of gender-based violence to discuss their experiences and tools to support their healing process. Open to victims and survivors of all identities (men, women, and gender non-conforming). Please email mkruizenga@ywcakalamazoo.org with any questions.

YWCA

The YWCA offers a variety of free support groups for survivors of gender-based violence, held in English and Spanish. All groups meet at the YWCA of Kalamazoo, 353 East Michigan Avenue (unless otherwise noted). Transportation can be arranged if needed. Childcare is available for ALL meetings.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, YWCA is only running their Sexual Assault Support group. This group is held virtually on Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., beginning Tuesday, January 12th. Please contact Kimberly Carroll (kcarroll@ywcakalamazoo.org or 269.345.5595 ext. 390) or Mallory Kruizenga (mkruizenga@ywcakalamazoo.org; 269.345.5595 ext. 341; or 269.303.3655) to schedule an intake prior to the group.

Sexual Assault Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The group offers a safe place for survivors of sexual assault to come together to discuss sexual assault and tools to begin the healing process. Open to victims and survivors of all identities (men, women, and gender non-conforming).

Domestic Assault Support Group meets on Tuesdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The group offers support form other survivors of Domestic Assault. The group provides a non-judgmental and supportive environment that fosters self-empowerment and emotional healing.

Grupo De Apoyo Para Las Sobrevivientes De La Violencia Doméstica meets on Thursdays (Jueves) at 2 to 3 p.m. Un grupo de apoyo donde se ofrece un lugar seguro para compartir experiencias de la violencia doméstica, conocer a otras sobrevivientes, y facilitar la recuperación de las participantes.

Online support forum: Pandora’s Project

Mallory Kruizenga

Mallory Kruizenga

YWCA Victim’s Advocate
Location: Hicks Center, Counseling Center 114 and virtual meetings.
Hours: Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
269.303.3655